The One with The Trek

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Now if you have been reading my blog since a long time, you might just remember the time I went on a 14 km trek to Lohagad Fort, back in September 2015.

It’s been almost a year since, with no major improvements in my fitness or stamina levels. And so, when a friend suggested we go to the Kanheri Caves, in Sanjay Gandhi National Park for a trek, the nightmares came rushing back and I refused. However, my super-fit friends convinced me to go along, saying this would be a far shorter and easier trek. And for the sake of friendship, I relented.

In hindsight, I should have stayed home, for the sake of my own, and everyone else’s sanity.

However, mistakes were made, and here’s how the trek was:

0600 hours:
I am woken up by my mother screaming to wake up or she’ll pour a glass of cold water on my head.

 
0615 hours:
I am still sitting on my bed, unwilling to leave the comfort of my blankets on what looks to be a cold, rainy, dull day.

 
0645 hours:
After showering in record time, downing a cup of coffee to wake up the senses, I am ready to leave. Only, I can’t find my shoes.

 
0700 hours:
I have managed to wake up the entire household in the search for my only pair of shoes, and am running the risk of missing the only train that I may manage to get into.

 
0715 hours:
Shoes found. I race to the station, laces untied, warm-up for the trek done, and the train is late.

 
0745 hours:
I reach Borivali with my friend. The other guys are late. I am ready to take a power nap right there. The coffee has proved ineffective.

 
0800 hours:
Everyone has arrived. At this point, let me just say we are eight people. Five over-enthusiastic and energetic guys and three already tired girls. One of the guys has a brilliant suggestion to walk till the National Park itself, since a 12 km trek is too less for them. Grudgingly, we agree (we as in the girls. All the guys are more than happy to walk another 3 km).

 
0830 hours:
We reach the national park amidst a mild downpour of rain, and a more serious downpour of curses in my head. It turns out the ticketing system is not working and so we need to wait. So far, it’s been 2 hours and I’ve spent almost half of it waiting. If this is not a perfect description of how India works, I don’t know what is.

 
0900 hours:
We have finally begun the trek. Which is just walking on a road, slightly inclined at times, for 12 km, but this is trek enough for me. One of the guys spies a lane, off-road, and suggests we take that route, claiming it will be a shorter one.

 
0915 hours:
The route does not seem to be shorter. We see many deer however, and I am contemplating whether deer can be raised as pets. They are adorable.  We have arrived amidst a settlement and people are telling us it is the wrong path. We still go ahead because we fancy ourselves as explorers.

 
0930 hours:
We have reached a dead end.

 
0945 hours:
We are now going back. I am ready to murder people for their insane suggestions of shorter routes. We reach the point where we started out, and we decide to take a break. Again, the testosterone-fueled humans decide to go swing off rods in the park, while we girls sit and reconsider decisions of going on treks.

 
1015 hours:
We start again, this time with no shortcuts, on a straight, cemented road.

 
1045 hours:
Still walking on straight roads. The girls are already tired. I am thankful there are girls with me who tire just as easily. At least I am not the only one who appears weak now. The guys are, of course, marching on like 12 km treks are daily routine for them.

 
1115 hours:
My life is now racing past my eyes in flashbacks. I regret not doing more with it. I ask my friend to send my body back home in case I collapse and die, a scenario which seems all too real now.

 
1145 hours:
Still walking. The sun refuses to take a break. Whatever happened to all the clouds I saw in the morning? I got a raincoat AND an umbrella for no reason at all.

 
1200 hours:
I see visions of my fast-approaching death. We have been walking for four hours, longer than I have ever walked in my entire life. The road goes uphill and straight, never downhill, with the result all three of us girls are now lagging behind the guys.

 
1215 hours:
I have decided for my final year project, I will make a portable charger for humans. It is what I am in dire need of right now. There are no signs of the caves, and the guys are almost out of sight.

 
1220 hours:
I see a bus approaching. Maybe I should go stand in front of it.

 
1230 hours:
Finally. I see the caves ahead. Wait, are those steps?! Okay, I am just going to wait here while the remaining people go ahead.

 
1300 hours:
I have been mercilessly coaxed up those imbecile steps. Us girls sit for some time, while the guys go ahead and explore the caves. I am now way past green with envy at the stamina they have.

 
1400 hours:
We start the descent. We see a bus, which will take us back down, and we get in, thankfully. But, male egos at work again, suggestions arise that we walk another 12 km back down, and fellow male egos agree. They leave, we sit in the bus.

 
1500 hours:
After waiting (that seems like my entire life now) for the guys to reach back down, we go finally, to eat lunch. At McDonald’s, to compensate for all the weight we might have lost.

 
1600 hours:
I am home. Alive. I have discovered sore, aching muscles I never knew existed.

 
It was an eventful day, to say the least. It did manage to reinforce my belief as to why I should never go on treks. Although it may sound like quite a rant, I did have fun. We made jokes along the way, laughed at funny incidents, and I realized the reason I torture myself with these things even after knowing it won’t end well, is because it is fun to hang out with friends even when you’re dying and out of breath.

 
Until the next unholy trek rolls around,

 
Love,

EllieB.

 

 

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